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What is vector art?
In the truest most pure form, vector art is art made up of points, lines and curves and represented by mathematical equations as opposed to śmapped pixels" as in a raster or bitmap file. Vector art is resolution independent, meaning that it can be scaled to any size and retain its sharpness and detail at no loss in quality.
Vector illustration is most commonly done in programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand, Flash, and CorelDRAW. Vectors in these programs (at the hands of skilled artists and draftsmen) can achieve a nearly photo-like quality or be beautifully abstract.
Vector art is one of the two forms of art used by computers, with the other form being bitmap art. Bitmap art is identified as art with file names ending in .GIF, .BMP, .JPEG, .JPG, and .PCX.
Vector art, on the other hand, usually ends in
.EPS .AI .CDR or .FH
Vector art and bitmap art are different in the way they are stored in the art files. Bitmap art utilizes pixels that are saved in a file as a series of numbers. Pixels create several dots of color in order to create the image, which is how the human eye sees pictures. Vector art, on the other hand, saves the image as lines with coordinates of their starting and ending points. This creates simple images, and research has demonstrated that this is the way the human brain sees and stores images.
Vector art is easier for a computer to save than bitmap images and takes up less space on a file, which is likely why the brain saves images in the same way. In fact, a poster-sized image saved as vector art will only take up a few kilobytes of memory. The same image saved with medium resolution may not even fit on one CD-ROM as a bitmap image.
The images in vector art are basic and simplistic, consisting of lines, points, polygons, and curves. Vector art is akin to the type of imaging typically used to create cartoon images found in comic strips. In addition, vector art is typically used to create business logos and signs, making them easy for the brain to remember.
In addition to taking up less computer space to save and to process, there are some other advantages associated with using vector art rather than bitmap art. One of these advantages is the fact that vector art images can be easily enlarged without distorting the image. Bitmap art, on the other hand, becomes jagged when enlarged, as the squares used to create the image are enlarged.